Removable Partial Dentures (Partial)


Seattle Dental Implants & Prosthodontics – Seattle, WA

A removable partial denture is an artificial tooth appliance used to replace one or several missing teeth, and can be attached to remaining teeth with metal clasps. These dentures (partials) are removable and allow for easy cleaning or repair. The bases of removable partial dentures are usually made of pink acrylic resin and/or metal.

Benefits of Complete Dentures, Removable Partial Dentures and Overdentures:

  • Mastication: chewing ability is improved by replacing missing teeth with dentures.
  • Aesthetics: dentures not only restore a natural and attractive appearance to the teeth, but can also correct the collapsed exterior of lips and cheeks that occurs after losing teeth.
  • Confidence: a healthy and beautiful-looking smile will help the patient feel less self conscious about their smile and increase their self-esteem.
  • Phonetics: by replacing missing teeth, patients will be able to better pronounce certain words that require the use of the teeth to speak.
  • For partials: it protects the health of oral tissues, and prevents other teeth from moving into gaps left by the missing teeth. When teeth drift, they open spaces where food particles can become trapped, creating bacterial growth and gum disease.

The process:

In order for Dr. Chung to determine the best treatment option available to you, he will begin with a thorough exam, review your x-rays and speak with you and any family members that may be involved in the process and find out what your expectations and desired outcomes are.

  • Some patients may present with already missing teeth or teeth that are deeply decayed and cannot be kept. In this instance, Dr. Chung will most likely recommend extracting the remaining teeth in the affected arch (can be upper and lower) followed by wearing a temporary (termed an ‘interim’) denture during the healing phase. While the tissue is shrinking, you will come in for several appointments where Dr. Chung checks on your healing and places a soft liner to help the denture stay in your mouth. After most of the healing is completed, he then places a hard liner before he begins the construction of yourpermanent complete denture (approximately one year later).The sequence for patients receiving a removable partial denture is almost identical except for the fact that they present with some teeth that may need to be extracted and others that are salvageable. There will be a few appointments prior to the extraction date where Dr. Chung will have you come in so he can fabricate your temporary partial or denture. Once this is ready,  he will deliver the temporary denture on the day of the extractions which you will be able to go home with and will wear while healing. This allows the patient to continue to eat solid foods until the permanent one is constructed.
 Both prostheses require a temporary denture or interim partial during the healing phase. Should Dr. Chung make a permanent one and deliver it on the day of the extractions, your gums will continue to shrink and a year later, it most likely will no longer fit properly. This is why we take the time to place soft liners and then hard liners on your temporary prosthesis to make sure you are satisfied with the end result. A hard laboratory reline is almost always necessary after the first year.
If you have any questions about the types of dental prostheses available or the sequence of treatment, we encourage you to contact our office here.